One of my faithful subscribers happens to be family, and snapped a picture of this wonderful 2004? Porsche Carrera GT near his house last week. I’ll give you some background information on the famous Porsche Carrera GT, okay? In 1997, Porsche decided to build a car that would dominate endurance races. It had a powerful 5.7 liter V10 that pumped out a massive 750 horsepower. It weighed a mere 2700 pounds. Unfortunately, the FIA passed new rules stating that cars racing the 24 hours of the Nurburgring had to be racing versions of a production car. Porsche had already invested almost 1 billion dollars on the car, and didn’t want to lose any money on it. What did they do? They made it road-legal. It was the fastest car of it’s day, and is still one of the fastest production cars to lap the Nurburgring, with a time of 7:57.39. Porsche saved a lot of weight by making the engine block out of carbon fiber. That took almost 300 pounds off the weight of the car. When NHTSA wanted to rate the car, Porsche had not started producing their carbon-fiber chassis’. Porsche sent a car with a racing chassis to NHTSA, where the safety tests were performed. The results were astonishing – the car was so safe that it scored 92% on all of the tests. Porsche then sent a carbon-fiber chassis a couple of years later, and found that it was still safe, just 10% less. The Porsche Carrera GT could hit 205 mph, and go at that speed for over an hour before it needed new tires and a refueling. Oh, and it cost $440,000 new. Now, you can expect to find a “cheap” one for $400,000. The more expensive ones can go for almost $800,000. It’s a price well-deserved, though. The driving experience is second to none, and it is one of the few cars that can hit 200 miles an hour with a stock manual transmission.
Check back Friday when I describe one of the best days of my auto journalism career? Life?